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Review: We Are The Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

May 31, 2018
We Are The Ants, Shaun David Hutchinson, InToriLex, Book Review
Published By: Simon Pulse on January 19, 2016
Format Read: Kindle Edition (464 pages)
Genre: Young Adult / LGBTQ/ Fantasy
Series: Stand Alone
Source: Purchased
Rating: FIVE STARS
We Are The Ants
~Amazon~ 
Henry Denton has spent years being periodically abducted by aliens. Then the aliens give him an ultimatum: The world will end in 144 days, and all Henry has to do to stop it is push a big red button.

Only he isn’t sure he wants to.

After all, life hasn’t been great for Henry. His mom is a struggling waitress held together by a thin layer of cigarette smoke. His brother is a jobless dropout who just knocked someone up. His grandmother is slowly losing herself to Alzheimer’s. And Henry is still dealing with the grief of his boyfriend’s suicide last year.

Wiping the slate clean sounds like a pretty good choice to him.

But Henry is a scientist first, and facing the question thoroughly and logically, he begins to look for pros and cons: in the bully who is his perpetual one-night stand, in the best friend who betrayed him, in the brilliant and mysterious boy who walked into the wrong class. Weighing the pain and the joy that surrounds him, Henry is left with the ultimate choice: push the button and save the planet and everyone on it…or let the world—and his pain—be destroyed forever. 

VERDICT:

Content Warning: Suicide, Depression, Bullying, Abandonment

REVIEW:

I'm still in awe after reading such a wonderful, well thought out and memorable book. Henry is a charismatic protagonist who is trying to figure out if our planet is worth saving. The depression he's grappling with while dealing with his boyfriend's suicide and the complicated dynamics of having a romance with his bully is making it all seem futile. However he slowly realizes the complexity of his relationships with family and friends and starts to feel a little less conflicted about saving humanity.The aliens he encounters as well as the other fantasy elements in this book gave enough for the reader to be transported right along with Henry.
“Your entire sense of self-worth is predicated upon your belief that you matter, that you matter to the universe. But you don't. Because we are the ants.” 
The story and character development flowed together seamlessly. I cheered for and got frustrated with all of the characters at different points in the book. Books that address  bullying, mental illness and have diverse representation of race and sexual orientation are crucial. Teens can be ostracized for just existing as they are. This was a wonderful representation of exactly how hard it can be growing up. Everyone is less flawed and deserving of empathy when you look at them up close. This book was a great representation of this.
“Sometimes I think gravity may be death in disguise. Other times I think gravity is love, which is why love's only demand is that we fall." 
I would recommend this book to everyone who can deal with the serious topics it covers. I was emotionally moved and intellectually challenged by the perspectives of these characters. It took me too long  to read this book but I look forward to reading other books by this author.  


Recommended for Readers Who
- enjoy reading about serious topics and LGTBQ three dimensional characters
- want to think deeply about how they approach and go through life
- enjoy coming of age stories with relatable issues and family relationships

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shaun is a major geek and all about nerdy shenanigans. He is the author of We Are the Ants, The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley, The Deathday Letter, fml, and the editor of the anthology Violent Ends. Find out more information at shaundavidhutchinson.com. He currently lives in South Florida with his dog and watches way too much Doctor Who.
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